All of the NBA’s Most Expensive Players are Eliminated from the Playoffs… Except for One Lone Wolf

NBA Playoffs : Minnesota Timberwolves, Rudy Gobert
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

As the 2024 NBA Playoffs narrow down to the final four teams—the Dallas Mavericks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Indiana Pacers, and Boston Celtics. Of those teams, it’s interesting to note that just one employs a top-15 paid player. It’s the Wolves. And that very wealthy employee… is Rudy Gobert.

Most of the league’s richest superstars have seen their seasons come to an end, yet Gobert and the Wolves’ still have at least a week or two of basketball remaining. How does that happen? Because perception is not always reality.

Rudy Gobert Continues To Show His Value in NBA Playoffs

Love him or hate him, there’s no denying that Rudy Gobert is a huge reason why the Minnesota Timberwolves are still playing. Gobert’s impact on the team’s culture has been significant, and it shows. Fresh off winning his fourth Defensive Player of the Year award, there is no doubt Rudy deserves every cent he makes.

RKNAMETEAMSALARY
1Stephen Curry, PGGolden State Warriors$51,915,615
2Kevin Durant, PFPhoenix Suns$47,649,433
3LeBron James, SFLos Angeles Lakers$47,607,350
4Nikola Jokic, CDenver Nuggets$47,607,350
5Joel Embiid, CPhiladelphia 76ers$46,900,000
6Bradley Beal, SGPhoenix Suns$46,741,590
7Giannis Antetokounmpo, PFMilwaukee Bucks$45,640,084
8Damian Lillard, PGMilwaukee Bucks$45,640,084
9Kawhi Leonard, SFLA Clippers$45,640,084
10Paul George, FLA Clippers$45,640,084
11Jimmy Butler, SFMiami Heat$45,183,960
12Klay Thompson, SGGolden State Warriors$43,219,440
13Rudy Gobert, CMinnesota Timberwolves$41,000,000
14Fred VanVleet, PGHouston Rockets$40,806,300
15Anthony Davis, PFLos Angeles Lakers$40,600,080
ESPN – NBA Salaries

Answer this question: Without Rudy Gobert, are the Wolves in the Western Conference Finals? The answer is no. The additions of Rudy, Mike Conley and Nickeil Alexander-Walker were the three keys this team was missing. They needed every ounce of what they had to get past the Denver Nuggets.

They keep hating, Minnesota Timberwolves keep winning

Gobert is the 13th highest-paid player in the league, earning $41 million per year. Out of all the players on this list, only one, VanVleet, didn’t make it to the playoffs or the play-in tournament. While all the others had their seasons come to an end, Gobert’s is still going strong.

Related: Former Timberwolves Turned Media Members Gush Over Anthony Edwards’ ‘It Factor’

Despite some lingering public criticism, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Rudy Gobert’s impact on this playoff run is undeniable. And with every game/round the Minnesota Timberwolves win, that’s what the NBA history books will begin to show. Winners are winners and, as much as he wishes he could, Draymond Green can’t change that.

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